Early endothelial dysfunction in young type 1 diabetics

Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg. 2009 May;37(5):611-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ejvs.2009.01.015. Epub 2009 Mar 17.


Objectives: Endothelial dysfunction is a known precursor of atherosclerosis and can be assessed by measuring the brachial artery flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) via ultrasonography. This study investigated endothelial function in young type 1 diabetics without cardiovascular morbidity or diabetes-related pathology.

Methods: Young diabetics and healthy controls were recruited, both meeting strict inclusion and exclusion criteria. To prove absence of subclinical atherosclerosis, intima-media thickness (IMT) measurements at the carotid bifurcation were done in all of them. FMD was measured at the brachial artery. The results were compared using the t-test and the influences of different variables on FMD were assessed using multiple linear regression.

Results: Twenty-six diabetics (23.4+/-5.8 years) and 36 healthy volunteers (23.1+/-2.8 years) were recruited. The duration of diabetes was 9.2+/-5.3 years; metabolic control was moderate (HbA1c 7.6+/-1.0%) and IMT was normal in both groups. FMD was significantly impaired in type 1 diabetics (7.13+/-0.43 vs. 8.77+/-0.43%; p=0.002). The FMD grade was associated with diabetes and age. Patients with a good metabolic control (HbA1c</=7.0%) had a better FMD.

Conclusions: In type 1 diabetics, even without preclinical or clinical atherosclerosis, endothelial function is already disturbed and can be detected using ultrasonography.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Atherosclerosis / epidemiology
  • Atherosclerosis / etiology
  • Atherosclerosis / physiopathology
  • Belgium / epidemiology
  • Blood Flow Velocity / physiology
  • Brachial Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Brachial Artery / physiopathology
  • Carotid Artery, Common / diagnostic imaging
  • Carotid Artery, Common / physiopathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / physiopathology*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Tunica Intima / diagnostic imaging
  • Tunica Intima / physiopathology
  • Ultrasonography
  • Vasodilation / physiology*
  • Young Adult